U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is keeping up her fight to ensure Missouri's farmers and ranchers are not burdened by unnecessary and costly rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), backing legislation to eliminate a redundant EPA regulation that would force thousands of Missouri farmers and ranchers to apply for permits in order to use already-approved pesticides on their own land.
Currently, all pesticides must undergo more than 100 different tests, as well as registration by the EPA before being certified as having no "adverse effects on the environment". In 2009, a federal court issued a decision requiring individuals who were working in or near water to acquire yet another permit in order to continue operations. This new requirement went into effect in October of last year.
"The last thing Missouri's farmers and ranchers need is unnecessary regulations that hinder their production," McCaskill said. "Getting rid of these types of rules is one way to ensure we're protecting jobs in rural communities and helping our agriculture industry continue to grow without the burden of cutting through government red tape."
McCaskill supported a similar measure as an amendment to the bipartisan Farm Bill that passed the Senate earlier this year, but the amendment was not included in the final bill. Without this bill, the EPA has estimated that an additional 365,000 pesticide users, including farmers, ranchers, cities, counties, and forest managers, will be required to obtain permits.
McCaskill wrote to President Obama and Senate leaders in August seeking additional emergency aid for Missouri's agriculture community, after she helped to pass a bipartisan Farm Bill in the Senate to reauthorize essential livestock disaster assistance programs, support agriculture jobs, strengthen resources for family farms and ranches, and reduce the national deficit by more than $23 billion. The U.S. House has so far failed to act on the Farm Bill, and Farm Bill programs are set to expire at the end of September.
Last week, McCaskill was honored at the Golden Triangle Award Ceremony for the National Farmers Union, where she accepted the group's highest legislative honor awarded to sitting members of Congress in recognition of her leadership working on behalf of Missouri's rural communities. McCaskill also recently received a letter of support from Missouri's top sportsman's groups for her leadership on the Farm Bill, which continues to be held up by House Republicans.
McCaskill's Fight for Missouri's Farmers and Ranchers
Claire McCaskill has consistently fought to ensure Missouri's farm and ranch families have the resources they need to succeed, and to prevent and overturn unreasonable rules and regulations on producers.
McCaskill helped pass a bipartisan Farm Bill to support agriculture jobs, strengthen resources for family farms and ranches, and reduce the national deficit by more than $23 billion.
McCaskill delivered a victory for rural communities, successfully forcing the U.S. Labor Department to withdraw proposed rules that would affect the ability of young adults to work on family farms and ranches.
McCaskill helped lead a bipartisan group of Senators in successfully demanding an exemption to allow the transportation of all farm supplies from any distribution point to a local farm retailer or to the consumer during planning and harvest seasons.
McCaskill confronted the Environmental Protection Agency in opposition to proposed rules over farm dust, forcing the EPA to abandon any such rules.